Academy ensures City have bright future

Marley Edwards
Marley Edwards
Danny Couzens Picture: Neil Marshall

Couzens beats Demetriou on points

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City of Portsmouth are looking to a bright future in 2013.

The Paulsgrove outfit are seeing their Academy flourish as boxers begin to come off the club’s conveyor belt of talent.

And City are witnessing the benefits of their place in the community as youngsters pack out their sessions.

Head coach Tony Hoile explained their Academy has now been in place for three years.

They have seen nine youngsters from the current crop go on to become carded boxers.

Coaches Simon Veal and Andy Cursons oversee the Academy sessions, with their dedication proving crucial to its success.

Paulsgrove Primary School is City’s base, and the club even have outline planning for a new gym.

Raising the £120,000 needed to make that a reality has proved a tough proposition on that front, however.

But City are delighted with the direction the club are headed as they move into the new year.

And they are confident they are going to go from strength to strength.

Hoile said: ‘Things are progressing nicely for us as a club. We have our Academy now and it is growing well.

‘We have just carded nine boys from the Academy and that is a nice boost for us. They are all aged between 10 and 12.

‘There are between 20 to 30 youngsters aged between six and 11 coming to the sessions.

‘We’re looking to the future and are bringing the children through.

‘For us it’s about the community, too, and having a role in it.

‘It looks like a good season for us and we are going strong.’

City have seen commitment and dedication from plenty of the boxers in the club’s ranks.

There are high hopes for the likes of Marley Edwards, who has been showing KO form, as well Alex Miller and 11-year-old Frankie Hymers.

Hoile pinpointed the heart of 15-year-old Aaron Veal as worthy of huge praise.

Veal has found himself on the wrong end of defeats in the vast majority of his 16 bouts.

But his passion for boxing sees him remain in the sport, where he shows impressive dedication and discipline.

Hoile sad: ‘Young Aaron really impresses me.

‘You have to take your hat off to this lad.

‘It’s not all about lifting trophies.

‘Aaron is always in the gym and trains hard. He is dedicated and tries his best.

‘He loves boxing and just can’t get enough of it.

‘He’s a brave young lad and that, for me, is what it is all about.’

City’s Academy sessions take place at Paulsgrove Primary School from 6-7pm on Wednesdays.

Sessions for other boxers take place on Monday and Wednesday (7-9pm).